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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Sleeping on the Tube

How to wake up fellow commuter

The Central Line must be fairly boring, as while I was on the way out last night I sat opposite two sleepers. Fortunately they had decided not to fall asleep towards each other.

Sleeping on the Central Line

The guy on the left displayed the wiser trick of using his hand to prop him up and sitting next to the glass partition also helps. But the Patrick Kielty lookalike on the right was spark out, with nothing to support him. As the journey wore on he slouched further and further over, so that he was leaning on the guy whose arm you can just see on the far right of this picture.

This particular man was trying to read a paper and obviously wasn't too keen with having someone asleep on his arm. After a while he did what I would have done and jerked his arm so that sleepy denim Patrick Kielty bloke bolted upright and then started sleeping with his head tilted backwards.

Not the most comfortable position in the world and possibly having a sixth sense that he was coming towards his station, he didn't sleep like that for long. When the Tube stopped he woke up and sleepily looked around the carriage. A little disorientated, he stumbled towards the door, and got off at St Paul's. I'm not sure if St Paul's was his station, as he stood for a few seconds at the foot of the escalator as if wondering whether to go up or not. The train pulled off at that point, so it'll remain a mystery.

There are a number of times that I've done what the denim bloke did in terms of waking up just as a train has stopped and having to decide in a split second whether you're at the right station. The worst thing is if you're travelling on a fairly empty train, at a stop you're not familiar with. You can then stand half asleep on the wrong side of the carriage waiting for the doors to open, when they've already opened behind you and the train then leaves you standing like a fool, too tired to realise what has happened until it's too late.

The sleepy denim bloke clearly needed a "Wake me up at" set of stickers.

Wake me up at.... stickers

But I wonder how many people would have woken him up at his required stop? The man who jerked him awake only did so because he didn't want to be used as a human pillow. Or perhaps he did have the "Wake me up if I dribble on your shoulder" sticker on and I couldn't see it? Do you have a particular tactic for waking people up if they sleep on you? Or do you grin and bear it and ease yourself away when you need to leave? And what about yourself as a sleeper, have you been woken up in a particularly interesting way?


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